Senate signals a stimulus on the horizon, and California voters green-light privacy rules: Thursday Wake-Up Call
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More than a day after the last polls closed, there is still no projected president-elect. But the odds look good for the continuation of divided government, with Joe Biden favored to win the Electoral College and Republicans set to maintain control of the Senate.
The markets liked the sound of that, fueled by speculation that Republicans will hold onto the Senate and prevent sweeping financial reforms. The Dow surged 800 points on Wednesday before closing 370 points up. The S&P 500 had its best day since June. And ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft rose more than 10% on the strength of their successful $200 million bid to classify their workers in California as independent contractors.
And in good news for unemployed and underemployed workers, Mitch McConnell, who easily fended off challenger Amy McGrath, signaled that the Senate would prioritize a coronavirus stimulus package now that the election is winding down. The previous stimulus package expired at the end of July, and House Democrats have been unable to move a bill through McConnell’s Senate since then.
Another California ballot initiative that passed Tuesday enacts new privacy regulations for companies that do business in the state. The California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act creates a new regulatory agency focused on protecting consumers and their data.
“There will be a California privacy czar who will be able to make rulings that control the way companies can use consumer data,” writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. “Industry groups like IAB and ANA say they favor regulation, but they are pushing for a national law, otherwise all the states could create a confusing tangle of regulations.”
In the short term, consultants benefit as companies look for help to review their own policies and get them into compliance.
With expectations that the 2020 presidential race would not be decided on election night, fewer people tuned in to coverage of the runoff than in 2016.
“Despite a record voter turnout, prime-time coverage on Tuesday night dropped 20% from 2016, with 56.9 million viewers tuning in across 21 networks, according to Nielsen,” writes Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi.
Fox News was the TV ratings winner on the night with 13.6 million viewers.
Gap stepped too quickly into the political scrum with a “can’t we all just get along” tweet hot on the heels of the most contentious presidential election in modern history.
“‘The one thing we know, is that together, we can move forward,’ the brand wrote in the message, which included a blue heart next to a red one. But for a country painfully divided, the tweet rang false, and social media slammed Gap for trying to take advantage of the current political climate by selling more product,” writes Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli.
“At least we could all come together as a nation today to tell The GAP to go fuck itself,” tweeted the authors of the queer history tome “Legendary Children.” The Gap post lasted just an hour before disappearing, and the brand offered an apology for a sentiment that it admitted was “too soon.”
Of course, there are still things Americans can agree on. Arizona’s ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana received more support than either presidential candidate.
In the early days of the pandemic, Etsy was the place to buy handmade face masks. But as social distancing drags on, the crafts platform is looking to redefine itself for the holidays. “In a world that’s increasingly commoditized, where everything is disposable, fast and cheap, Etsy fills that gap by providing items worth holding onto,” Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Scott says on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast.
He explains the thinking behind the brand’s holiday spots, which feature customers adapting to the realities of a holiday season away from the ones they love. Scott also talks about other retail categories that have gotten a boost on Etsy, including gardening kits and self-care items.
Fact check: Twitter and Facebook have been quick to police posts by President Trump or his surrogates that make false claims about winning states or the entire presidential race. “Disputed” and “misleading” messages alleging election malfeasance or promoting conspiracy theories about stolen ballots are being hidden or prominently tagged.
Shopping around: MDC Partners CEO and Chairman Mark Penn spent a year trying to unload Stagwell Group, according to Business Insider. No holding company or private equity firm wanted it, at least not for the reported $1 billion he wanted for it. Instead, in June Penn set in motion the merger of MDC and Stagwell, which is still in planning stages.
Raising the bar: Florida voters approved a $15 minimum wage, though it doesn’t take full effect until 2026. That will bring it in line with states like New York and California. In 21 states, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which hasn’t budged in a decade, is still the floor.
Islands in streaming: Ad Age's Next: Streaming virtual conference takes place next Tuesday (Nov. 10) with 22 execs from media, brand and tech companies discussing OTT, AVOD, addressable TV, the pandemic and many other issues. Register here for free.
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